The British government is preparing to approve a surcharge for international lorries, which, if passed, could help make the field of delivery work fairer to British drivers and hauliers, in comparison to those from elsewhere in Europe and the world.

The current state of affairs in the United Kingdom very much benefits international hauliers, who are exempt from any fines or levies when circulating on British roads, and in the majority of cases are not even subject to fuel taxes. British drivers, on the other hand, are required to pay these taxes and fines in order to be allowed to perform delivery work. This puts the latter at a massive disadvantage when compared to their international brethren, who often circulate for free inside the British Isles while their local counterparts are forced to pay the government in order to do their jobs.

The proposed tax would see all international lorries pay a fixed deposit of £300 prior to entering the country, or be subjected to a fixed penalty notice. At the same time, UK hauliers and delivery work drivers would see their own road taxes lowered, in a bid to make circumstances fairer for everyone.

The passing of this levy could, in the opinion of the committee members in charge of approving this bill, help reduce the number of international trucks working on Britain’s roads at any given time. It would also prevent all-too-frequent situations where foreign drivers break UK traffic rules or laws, then leave the country before they can be penalised for the transgressions.

The system in question, which is set to come into fruition on April 1, is currently being pre-tested, with the government and its affiliate company in this endeavour offering certain benefits to firms and drivers willing to volunteer as ‘guinea pigs’ for the experiment. A pre-registration period for smaller firms (with less than 50 lorries) has also recently ended, with non-registered companies of a larger dimension being requested to sign up as soon as possible.

The haulage industry is currently one of the lynchpins of the UK’s economy, and authorities are keen to make sure it is not undermined by the effects of foreign trucks being regularly sub-contracted by certain companies. The levy in question also seeks to preserve the roads of certain parts of the country (like Kent), which are beginning to suffer the wear and tear of intensive usage by heavy vehicles.

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